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Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Creator Of Centipede Discusses Women In Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamasutra is offering an interesting interview with Dona Bailey, the creator of the original Centipede, a classic game which has inspired thousands of imitations over the years. In the interview Bailey discusses her experiences as the only female game designer in the industry at the time, what it was like to work at Atari, and the present and future status of women in the business.

Did things change once youíd done Centipede?
Yes, but Iím not sure it was for the better! There was a lot of surly attention after that. Itís not always popular to do something [like] that -- the first thing that happened, I was not ready for at all, and I still havenít figured out how to deal with this part -- people just started, yíknow... the typical kind of thing that people would say was, either it was a fluke or I didnít really do it, somebody else did it. Iím a very peaceful person, and I felt sick of fighting, so I really just disappeared, and I havenít had contact with the industry for at least twenty years.

Do you follow the industry at all, now?
I didnít at all until about a year ago. I teach now, and I taught a special class for some very accelerated students who were the first ones accepted into the new game design program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Theyíd had all AP classes, and when I met them, I found out that they had all kinds of certifications, all kinds of things I didnít expect, and they were very accelerated for the typical students who I teach. And so I was really glad Iíd spent the summer doing a lot of preparation so I was up on all the game genres, and spent a lot of time reading Game Developer and all kinds of things. So through reading, thatís my biggest connection.
Itís interesting -- one of the first things I realized was that Centipede would be considered, at best, a ďcasual gameĒ now -- which was so funny to me, because it wasnít that at all -- it was an action game with a story, and now it really doesnít have a narrative at all by todayís standards! It probably wouldnít even be released today. All of those things were interesting to me when I was going through this period of discovery.
To read the rest of the interview follow the link provided below.

Gamasutra: The Original Gaming Bug

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Archives  News  Creator Of Centipede Discusses Women In Gaming